Junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns – all in that explosive first half – while the OSU offense piled up 489 total yards. Purdue finished with 118, but the Boilermakers didn't crack the century mark until late in the fourth quarter.
The shutout was the first for the Buckeyes since last season's 45-0 win over New Mexico State, and was a bit surprising given that Purdue entered the game on a three-game Big Ten winning streak that began last season and a five-game stretch during which the Boilermakers had rushed for 200 or more yards.
Purdue entered the contest averaging 231.0 rushing yards in its two conference games and 202.3 yards overall. It managed only 30 against the Buckeyes.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Rob Henry, who was coming off a career performance in his team's 28-17 victory the week before over Minnesota, was held in check by the Buckeyes. Henry completed only 9 of 18 passes for 58 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, and he was limited to 26 yards on five carries. That modest total still managed to lead all Purdue rushers.
Herron was Ohio State's leading rusher with 74 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries as the Buckeyes totaled 184 yards on the ground.
Pryor finished with 16 completions in 22 attempts for 270 yards and the three touchdowns. He ran the ball only four times for minus-2 yards, was sacked once and intercepted twice.
Four different Buckeyes caught touchdown passes in the game. Wideouts Dane Sanzenbacher and DeVier Posey had four catches each for 86 and 84 yards, respectively. They also had a touchdown catch each as did freshman wideout Corey "Philly" Brown and junior tight end Spencer Smith.
"Our guys came out ready to go and before we knew it, it was 7-0," OSU head coach Jim Tressel said after the game. "Then our defense took over from there and got the shutout."
Tressel was asked if the blowout win was more the result of last week's 31-18 disappointment at Wisconsin or revenge for last year's 26-18 upset loss at Purdue.
"Well, it goes to show you our older kids weren't going to let the younger guys get too disappointed (about last week)," the coach replied. "Of course, we didn't make some of the mistakes we made last week and our opponent didn't make some of the plays they made last week."
Defensively, Ohio State was led by junior linebacker Andrew Sweat, who had eight tackles, including 2½ for loss, and a forced fumble. Senior defensive back Aaron Gant added six tackles, while senior linebacker Brian Rolle and junior defensive end Nathan Williams each had a sack. Seven different OSU defenders logged at least one tackle for loss as the Buckeyes had nine TFL in the contest.
Junior safety Logan Link led Purdue with a career-high 13 tackles.
The Buckeyes scored early and often, beginning with a 60-yard drive on their opening possession. Herron accounted for 45 of the yards on five running plays, including an 11-yard touchdown bolt.
Senior kicker Devin Barclay added the extra point to make it 7-0 at the 13:05 mark of the first quarter.
OSU got another chance courtesy of a Purdue mistake. A Boilermaker defender was blocked into punt returner Waynelle Gravesande, and then the ball grazed Purdue's Chris Carlino after it hit the ground. That made it a free ball and Hines smothered it at the PU 39.
It took the Buckeyes only six plays to move into the end zone again, getting a 3-yard touchdown run from Herron to make it 14-0 with 6:48 remaining in the first period.
Ohio State's next drive was much longer – 91 yards – but wound up in the end zone nonetheless. Pryor completed three straight passes during the march that accounted for 68 of the yards, and then sophomore Jordan Hall finished things off with a 1-yard touchdown run on the third play of the second quarter.
Barclay's PAT topped off the 11-play march to push Ohio State's lead to 21-0 with 14:25 remaining until halftime.
That's when Pryor took over.
After pitching an interception that ended a potential scoring drive at the 9:10 mark, Pryor threw three touchdowns passes in the final five minutes of the first half.
He hit Posey for a 22-yarder at the 4:57 mark, found Sanzenbacher over the middle for a 7-yard score with 1:54 remaining, and then completed a 15-yarder that Brown speared out of the air at the goal line with 36 seconds left.
That score came on the heels of a late first-half interception by Johnson, and gave the Buckeyes a 42-0 cushion at halftime.
By that time, OSU already had an inflated 415-47 advantage in total yardage and led in first downs, 23-3. Pryor was 16 for 21 for 270 yards and the three scores by the break, while Herron already had 76 yards and two TDs on 13 carries.
Following a scoreless third quarter, the Buckeyes stretched their lead with a 67-yard drive that culminated in a 23-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Joe Bauserman to Smith. It was Smith's first career touchdown, and following Barclay's seventh PAT of the afternoon, Ohio State had a 49-0 lead with 7:24 to go in the game.
Bauserman directed a pair of second-half series and completed 2 of 2 passes for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Purdue's best chance to score came on its final possession of the game, but kicker Carson Weems' 56-yard field goal attempt with 24 seconds remaining fell short and to the left.
Ohio State (7-1, 3-1) will be back in action next Saturday when the Buckeyes travel to Minnesota. The Golden Gophers (1-7, 0-4) were 33-21 losers to Penn State earlier this afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium.
Kickoff next Saturday is set for shortly after 8 p.m. Eastern.